Because ants are such a problem for the birds in our backyard, we must never allow them access to our bird feeders or the nectar ports on our hummingbird feeders.
To prevent ants from ascending your bird feeder pole, place a piece of double-sided tape at the base of the pole. In order to ensure that the tape remains watertight, a squirrel baffle can be set on top of it. If you have a concrete pole base, you can fill an ant moat with water to keep ants away, or you can simply use the moat as a decorative hanging feature.
It’s not unheard of for ants to invade a typical bird feeder, especially a hummingbird feeder where they may feast on the nectar.
In the same way that you would prevent ants from entering your home through a Shepherd’s Hook or bird feeding station, you can do the same thing to protect your hummingbird feeder pole from these pesky insects.
Although it is possible to deter ants from climbing the pole to your bird feeder, I recommend instead focusing on stopping them from entering the feeder itself. This will save you a lot of time and energy.
You may prevent ants from reaching your bird feeder by suspending it over an ant moat filled with water. The ants will fall into the moat and drown before they can reach the feeder.
Keeping ants away from a bird feeder pole is a valid concern, especially if the pole has a history of being infested.
To catch ants, place double-sided tape near the base of the pole and wait for them to climb up it.
You may keep it dry and out of the sun by placing it in a squirrel baffle, but you’ll need to replace the double-sided tape inside it frequently to keep it strong.
The notion of temporarily putting a bird feeder pole into a concrete base is superior to anything I’ve proposed so far. This base will be the beginning of your very own ant moat in the ground; it will be a sealed moat that you will fill with water.
You should check that the pole for the bird feeder can be inserted straight before you try this, but if things don’t go as planned, you can always remove the dry concrete block from the base and try again.
Dangle bird feeders under Ant Moat
Hummingbird feeder nectar can be a magnet for ants, but it is feasible to prevent them from reaching the food.
For now, let’s just focus on stopping ants from reaching bird feeders instead of going through the more involved process of keeping ants off a bird feeder pole.
So, we’ll build an ant moat above the pole and all the feeders so that the ants can’t crawl down and feast on the birds. Hummingbird feeders, and bird feeders of all kinds, can benefit from an ant moat in exactly the same way.
Attaching a deep dish of simple tap water to the bird feeder pole bracket and then using the hook below the water dish to suspend a bird feeder is how this is done.
What is known as an ant moat is a simple method that has proven to be incredibly effective in keeping ants at bay.
It’s quite challenging to keep ants away from a bird feeder pole, although it is possible on rare occasions.
Because the ant moat is most effective at bird feeder level, this is where you’ll be focusing your efforts to keep ants away.
Clean bird feeder pole area
Hummingbird feeders on a pole attract ants because the sugary water attracts them, but ants can’t detect the scent of a typical bird feeder.
Before implementing the procedures outlined in the following section, you should clean up the area around your bird feeder pole.
Although ants will be drawn to any dropped food or sugar water on the ground, ants can be bothered to climb up a pole in order to get to the cleanest source of their food or water.
If you want to keep sugar-seeking bees away from your bird feeder, you should clean the area under the pole and maintain a clean bird feeder.
Ants are discouraged from hummingbird feeders by the nectar-free zone below the pole, while normal bird food may be less of a problem but still enough to cause an infestation.
Unstable bird feeder poles, which can spill nectar or drop bird food at the slightest wind or random movement, are a common cause of bird feeder mess.
Apply sticky tape to pole
Sticky tape on the pole of a bird feeder is a less conventional method than the others suggested for keeping ants away.
If you put double-sided sticky tape on the pole of your bird feeder, the ants will have to crawl up it for about a foot before they reach the tape.
Designed to trap ants on one side and stick to the tape on the other.
Because double-sided tape is typically not weatherproof, this ant trap is not the type you can set and forget.
If the tape gets wet or weathered, you should probably throw it away and get new tape to ensure a good seal.
In order to prevent ants from reaching the bird feeders up high, cover any possible entry points with sticky tape.
For whatever reason, some individuals feel the need to oil the pole of their bird feeder, even when a small amount of stationary would enough.
Given that double-sided tape — at least the kind you can peel off and reapply at will — isn’t designed for use in the great outdoors, we can do our best to keep it away from any wet environments.
A squirrel baffle, installed above the adhesive tape, would not prevent squirrels from ascending the pole, but its wide disc would provide welcome protection from the elements.
Form ant moat in pole foundation
The traditional method of impaling the bird feeder pole into the ground, which attracts ants, can be improved upon.
And I can promise you that although this method may feel permanent, it is not.
The pole of the feeder is then buried in a concrete base on your lawn, where the birds can enjoy it. I understand that you would rather not destroy your lush lawn in order to hide an unsightly slab of gray concrete.
I don’t want you to make a permanent hole in the concrete for your bird feeder pole, therefore the ideal solution is to first embed a pipe in the ground and then slide the end of your pole into the pipe.
Concrete block with the pipe insert can be dumped on the landfill if the base is no longer needed, which has the added benefit of keeping the bird feeder pole clean.
So, here’s what you need to do: before pouring the concrete for the base, press an undesirable bowl or dish into the ground to create a mold. Before it dries, make sure the cracks are fixed and then force the pipe into the center.
Now you have a pole for a bird feeder sitting in the middle of a concrete block that serves as a makeshift ant moat.
Make sure there are no cracks in the ant moat’s base, as this could lead to flooding. This ant moat is so full of water that all you can see now are floating ant bodies.
This only works if you put your bird feeders and pole on a lawn or soft turf, as you will need to dig out earth and create a concrete foundation.
Let me interject here and suggest something that will save you a lot of hassle and cash: an ant moat for your hummingbird feeder.
You can use an ant moat to keep ants out of a hanging flower basket or any other type of bird feeder that is designed to hang.
The ant moat is hung from the bracket or limb the bird feeder will be hanging from, and the hook that holds the feeder is attached to the ant moat.
A bird feeder is hung from a bracket or tree above an ant moat full of water.
The ants can’t get to the bird feeders because they have to cross a moat full of water.
Even yet, if ants are drawn to spilled hummingbird nectar or bird food, it’s probably not a bad idea to clean it up.
If you’d rather not deal with the ant problem at all, you can apply double-sided sticky tape near the base of the pole to stop ants in their tracks and keep them away from the bird feeder.
Since sticky tape isn’t waterproof or designed for outdoor use, a squirrel baffle must be installed on top of it to provide protection against squirrels.
The idea of embedding your bird feeder pole in concrete is perhaps the most extreme approach I’ve come up with so far. See whether the ants can make it to the bird feeder pole after digging a moat for them right here in the foundation.